The Birthday Massacre
Hide and Seek

1. Leaving Tonight
2. Down
3. Play with Fire
4. Need
5. Calling
6. Alibis
7. One Promise
8. In this Moment
9. Cover My Eyes
10. The Long Way Home

Chibi – lead vocals
Rainbow – rhythm guitar
Falcore – lead guitar
Rhim – drums
Owen – keyboards
Nate Manor – bass

Nothing and Nowhere (2002)
Violet (2005)
Walking with Strangers (2007)
Pins and Needles (2010)


Dave Ogilvie - mixing
Kevin James Maher - programming

Released 9/10-2012
Reviewed 23/10-2012


“Thinking hurts and thoughts don't rhyme, to those of us who've never tried, to find a face behind our lipstick smiles. And as our pretty faces die, our broken hearts will wonder why the makeup just won't hide the scars of time”. Somehow these lyrics of the song Play Dead from the Violet album by this band comes to mind when listening to this album, I am pretty disappointed with this album and it is a bit like they try to hide a lack of creativity with makeup in form of using tried and tested stuff from their earlier works which were frankly absolutely brilliant. This might have worked following Walking With Strangers but it walks a similar path stylistically to the excellent Pins and Needles but is nowhere near as good as that album which was one of the absolutely brightest shining highlights of 2010. And I had been looking forwards to this album and the more I listen it the more the songs starts to just remind me of stuff from the albums before. Now misunderstand me correctly here, this is still an amazing album and one of the best of 2012 but it competes with a history hardly any other band can show for and that is the problem, it just does not stack up to the likes of Violet, Pins and Needles, Walking With Strangers or even Nothing and Nowhere even though it has the correct looking cover art.

Anyone familiar with this massacre will recognise the synthpop around which this album is built, the industrial styled guitars and Chibi’s characteristic voice which are the distinct elements of this band. They build their darkish synthindustrial pop/rock/metal around a dark atmosphere that still is very catchy, sort of a fairytale style of rock you could describe it as. But I think the best way to describe them is to say that they sound violet, because that’s what they do. The production of this album is top notch and there is nothing to complain about when it comes to the sound, the playing time is short and to the point as well with the ten tracks clocking in on little over 35 minutes. There is a decent variation on the theme here as well from quite dark to quite poppy and happy with bunny ears.

And this is one hell of an album, clever, catchy and just great. But it is so with an aftertaste that is somewhat bitter as you just know there is just so much more to get from these guys and I can’t help but thinking that they have been lazy when writing for this album and the music in difference to all prior album is a step backwards rather than one forwards. There is no major hit that just sticks in your mind forever like for instance Video Kid, Play Dead, In the Dark, Shallow Grave, Kill the Lights, Walking With Strangers and so on, nothing like that. And all of these little details where this album does not stack up to the previous albums make this a bit of a disappointment but I mean a disappointment for The Birthday Massacre is something most band should have been very proud of.

I think the top tracks of this album are Down and Alibis which are both very good and Down feels somewhat fresh as well but just somewhat and it is the only track that stands out in that regard, Alibis is a great track but very classical The Birthday Massacre style. None of these tracks can be considered a hit in comparison to hits the band has already mustered. Still, it is an impressive release for sure and one that cements this band’s position as one of my favourite bands but it is still one of the most disappointing releases of 2012 as I know what they can do and this is not it. Possibly the best disappointment I have heard so far.



Label: Metropolis Records
Three similar bands: Silvery/Nightwish/Alphaville
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

läs på svenska